The Emperor of the North

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sallent, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Sallent

    Sallent Well-Known Member

    Today is a good day. After blowing my budget to oblivion with the purchase of an Otho, Vitellius, and Caligula, today I added insult to injury by nuking the ashes of what was once formerly known as my coin budget. But it was well worth it, see for yourself.

    There was a time Britain was an empire with overseas possessions, a monarch who styled himself as an Emperor from his throne room in London, and a mighty navy ruled the waves. No, this is not the British Empire, but rather the lesser known Britannic Empire of the 3rd Century CE.

    CARAUSIUS. 286-293 AD. Antoninianus (22mm, 3.92 gm). Londinium (London) mint. IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / PA-X A-VG, Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse sceptre; B-E//MLXXI. RIC V 118. VF

    Carausius received a command from Maximian to fight pirates off the coast of Britain. However, Maximian then decided to kill Carausius (just one of the long list of bad ideas that occured to Maximian). Carausius learned of this and decided to revolt. He carved out Britania and Northern Gaul to himself and would hold it successfully for 7 years, defeating Roman attempts to reconquer Britain thanks to his mighty Britannic fleets.

    Unfortunately, in 293 CE the good times came to an end after he was usurped and assassinated by another usurper, Allectus. Within 3 years Allectus managed to lose the Britannic Empire, and the rest is history as the crisis-filled 3rd Century gave way to a more stable Roman world and the rise of Christianity.

    Now you see why this coin is so special. Being a huge fan of the Crisis of the 3rd Century and the Secessionist Empires, I could not pass this up. I needed to have the self-styled Emperor of the North, who for a brief period at the end of the 3rd Century, created a proto-British Empire and gave the Romans a bloody nose. Also, most of Carausius' coins are in terrible shape, but this one is a superb example with a nice portrait. I just had to get it.

    Share any relevant coins.

    PS: RIP 2018 coin budget. You died so young. You shall be sorely missed. :(
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  3. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    That's an unmistakable portrait! Nice one.
    Sallent likes this.
  4. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Sweet! I guess we have a run on Carausius this week.
    ominus1, dougsmit and Sallent like this.
  5. Sallent

    Sallent Well-Known Member

    Yes, the portrait captures well his fat neck, double chin, and neck beard. The only other emperor with that combo that I can think of is Nero in his later years.

    I'm not ashamed to say the portrait sold me this coin, though the fact that his name appears so well struck and legible was the icing on the cake.
  6. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    The portrait hints that Carausius could have drunk and debauched Vitellius under the table. Utterly fantastic!
    Nerva, randygeki and Sallent like this.
  7. Sallent

    Sallent Well-Known Member

    LOL, best description of Carausius ever. You know how Aureii, being gold, had the best portraits of Emperors as only the most talented celators were given that work. Well, here is one of his better portraits in gold. Look at all that fat...

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  8. dadams

    dadams Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent coin Sallent! I did try to help out on your coin budget a bit today :happy:.

    The only somewhat relevant coin I have to share is this other JAZ acquisition:


    Maximianus Herculius, AD 286-305
    Ӕ Follis, 27mm, 8.6g, 12h; Ticinum mint, AD 295-296.
    Obv.: IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; Laureate head right.
    Rev.: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, right holding patera over altar, left cornucopiae; star in left field // ST
    Reference: RIC VI Ticinum 29b, p. 284
    From the YOC Collection
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    Nice one @Sallent ! Next stop, Allectus...
    ominus1 likes this.
  10. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    yup..for 2 anyway...
  11. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Working like crazy to pay for the lazy Supporter

    Bah! Budget shmudget. ;) Congrats on a great portrait.
  12. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..i've always said "what a concept"..
    TypeCoin971793, Sallent and Nathan401 like this.
  13. alde

    alde Always Learning Supporter

    Who needs a coin budget when you could have great coins. Congratulations on a nice one.
  14. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    What a cool coin of an interesting dude...nice score Sallent!
    Sallent likes this.
  15. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    Very nice!!
  16. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Whithout a coin budget, one wouldn't feel the pleasure of transgression (where is the pleasure at buying a new Porsche when you already have ten ferraris ? :D)

    Excellent addition @Sallent

    Carausius, Antoninianus Colchester mint ?
    IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate bust right
    MONITA (sic) AVG, Moneta standing left, holding scales and cornucopia
    3,64 gr
    Ref : RCV # 13629v, Cohen # 178 var, RIC, cf #867

    dlhill132, dadams, Sallent and 7 others like this.
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My transgression was this Carausius common Pax overstruck on a Victorinus common Salus. Why did it have to cost more than either parent?
    Such a coin always drives me to buy one showing the undertype.
  18. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice Carausisus @Sallent ! Headless PAX... hmmm that must say something about the peace...

    RI Carausius usurper in Britain CE 287–293 BI Ant 4.7g 24mm London radiate cuirassed - PAX AVG Pax stndg l branch scepter S—P RIC V 475

    RI Carausius 287-293 AE22 London mint PAX.jpg
    RI Carausius 287-293 AE22 London mint PAX
    Someday I may clean this one... perhaps it is an AV AUREUS underneath! :D
  19. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    But could Carausius sing -- you know, like Nero and this guy, Jon Sudano?

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    Nyatii likes this.
  20. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Great portrait indeed!

    Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 9.32.27 AM.jpg
    London mint, no marks in field. RIC 101 (unverified).

    Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 9.39.02 AM.jpg
    Allectus (293-297), quinarius (probably not really!), London mint.

    In Rosemary Sutcliffe's novel The Silver Branch, Carausius is represented as a noble leader, betrayed and murdered by his finance minister, Allectus, whose despotism ruins the Britannic empire. Coins feature in the plot.
  21. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I will do a little change-up... lets get a before-coins object in here...

    Egypt Scarab RAMESSES II cartouche 19th Dyn 1292-1189 BCE winged uraeus cobra 4.1g 19mm Gustave Mustaki coll acquired fr Egypt in 1948

    Egypt Cleopatra VII Cyprus  AE 11 1.8g obol Paphos mint as Isis dbl-corunc SNG Cop 649.jpg
    Egypt Cleopatra VII Cyprus AE 11 1.8g obol Paphos mint as Isis dbl-corunc SNG Cop 649
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